New Orleans Cajun Butter Shrimp

Feast Local
by Feast Local
4 Servings
30 min

Mardi Gras plans got canceled? Let this super easy, one-pan Cajun Butter Shrimp help ease your pain.

You may not be drinking New Orlean’s notoriously strong Hurricanes down Bourbon street this year. But at least you can enjoy some of NOLA’s best flavors in the comfort of your own kitchen. And hey, who’s stopping you from mixing up a Hurricane to sip on while you enjoy this cajun shrimp dish!

What are Cajun flavors?

Cajun flavors are big and bold, mirroring the culture of New Orleans. Cajun food has a long history that combines the best flavors of French and Spanish cooking. These dishes definitely pack a spicy punch. But the spice isn’t so overwhelming that you can’t appreciate the medley of other flavors. Popular flavors you might find in Cajun dishes include paprika, bay leaf, onion, garlic, oregano, thyme, and many more!

Cajun Seasoning Alternatives

You can purchase Cajon Seasoning from your local super market. I have seen popular spice brands such as McCormick and Thrive Markets sell theirs in stores near me.

Alternatively, you can make your own with spices you probably already have on hand. Food blogger, Gimmesomeoven has a spice blend that looks delicious. Though I personally used a store bought spice mix.

Lastly, Seafood seasonings such as Old Bay will also work well!

How to serve Cajun Butter Shrimp

Okay, if I am being honest here, the shrimp is good, but the cajun butter sauce is the star! The first time I tested this recipe, I fell in love with the sauce. So much, that I ended up altering the recipe to double it. It is that good! And to fully appreciate the sauce, you need a vehicle or medium to consume it so to speak. I enjoy eating it with crusty French bread to soak up all the delicious sauce. But another, equally delicious option would be to serve it as rice and enjoy the dish as a stew. If you eat it this way, I recommend cooking the rice on its own, versus cooking it straight in the pan with the sauce. This way you can control how saucy your meal is. If you cooking it in the same pans as the sauce, you might find that the rice soaks up too much of the liquid.

How to make Cajun Butter Shrimp

This Cajun shrimp recipe could not be easier! And since it only uses one pan, its also easy to clean! Isn’t it great when your dinner works out like that!

Step 1

Pat the shrimp dry and season it lightly with the 1 tsp of cajun seasoning. No need to add extra salt or pepper, the seasoning is flavorful enough. Set aside

Step 2

Whisk together the soy sauce, milk, sherry vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, bourbon, remaining 1 tsp of cajun seasoning, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a large skillet with high sides. Lastly, add in the tomatoes. Cover your pan and cook on medium until it begins to thicken, 7-10 minutes. Using the back of a wooden spoon, smash the tomatoes so they burst and their juice comes out. Then add the butter and stir. Once the butter melts, add the shrimp to the pan. Cook until the shrimps are pink on both sides, 3-5 minutes.

Ingredient notes:

  • The Sherry vinegar does wonder to brighten up the heavy dish. If you do not have any, substitute equal parts white wine vinegar, or 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
  • I used 2% milk adjusted my ingredient ratios to that milk’s fat contents. If using a heavier milk such as whole or heavy cream, I would use significantly less and instead use a low sodium chicken or vegetable broth to get the volume of sauce you’re looking for. The reason for this is that dairy and other fat products dilute flavors.
  • To make this dairy free, I would recommend using low fat or lite coconut milk versus full fat for the same reasons above.

Step 3

Sprinkle over some parsley. The fresh herbs offer a wonderful pop of flavor that contrasts from the heavy dish. Serve with French bread or rice and enjoy!

New Orleans Cajun Butter Shrimp
Recipe details
  • 4  Servings
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 30 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

  • 2 Lbs Shrimp
  • 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/2 Cups 2% Milk (see ingredient notes if using other type of milk)
  • 1/4 Cup Bourbon
  • 2 Tbs Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbs Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Tsp + 1 Tsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
Serving Options
  • 2 Cups cooked rice
  • 1 Loaf French Baguette

Pat shrimp dry and season lightly with 1 tsp of Cajon seasoning.
Whisk the soy sauce, olive oil, milk, sherry vinegar, brown sugar, dijon mustard, bourbon, garlic, the remaining 1 tsp of cajun seasoning, and red pepper flakes in a pan with high sides. Lastly, add in the tomatoes. Cook on medium until it begins to thicken 7-10 minutes. Then add in the butter and stir until it is melted.
Once the butter is melted, add in the shrimp and cook until they are pink on both sides. (3-5 minutes.) Stir often so the shrimps on the bottom don’t cook faster than the shrimps on top of the pan.
Garnish with torn parsley leaves then serve with French bread, or pour over a bowl of rice. Enjoy!
  • I recommend sticking to 2% milk, as a heavier milk will dilute the sauce’s flavors
  • If using a dairy-free alternative, I recommend low fat coconut milk
Feast Local
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
  • Jersey Girl Knows Best Jersey Girl Knows Best on Mar 12, 2021

    This looks amazing! I needed a new shrimp recipe 🍤

  • Dixie Dixie on Mar 12, 2021

    In your instructions, you failed to add the tomatoes (smashed) with the liquid ingredients - before the butter and shrimp. Sounds wonderful! I'm looking forward to making it and may use grits alongside.